What Lisa Marie Watched Last Night #219: Saved By The Bell: Hawaiian Style (dir by Don Barnhart)


Yesterday evening, I watched the 1992 made-for-TV movie, Saved By The Bell: Hawaiian Style!

Why Was I Watching It?

Eh.  It was on Netflix.  I was thinking about all of the fun that I had when I visited Hawaii.  I had just posted my review of Dustin Diamond’s Behind The Bell and I was feeling a little guilty about some of the things I wrote about him.  I saw the film was available to watch and I thought, “Why not?”

What Was It About?

The Saved By The Bell gang is spending their summer vacation in Hawaii!  Kelly’s grandfather (played by “special guest star” Dean Jones) owns a hotel but …. uh-oh!  It looks like the hotel is going to go out of business unless Zack and the gang can fool a bunch of principals (led by their principal, Mr. Belding) to check in.

Along with trying to save the hotel, each member of the Gang gets an adventure of their own!

Zack (Mark-Paul Gosselaar) falls for a single mother (Rena Sofer), who has a rich boyfriend who owns a limo.  Zack thinks the guy is shallow and is unimpressed with his wealth.  Zack Morris, class warrior?  Whatever.

Kelly (Tiffani-Amber Theissen) falls for her grandfather’s lawyer, not knowing that he’s actually working for the rival hotel.

Jessie (Elizabeth Berkley) and Slater (Mario Lopez) try to spend the entire vacation without fighting.

Lisa (Lark Voorhies) makes a bet that Jessie and Slater can’t spend the entire vacation without fighting.

And Screech (Dustin Diamond) is mistaken for a deity by a Polynesian tribe.

Wait, what?

What Did Not Work?

It’s Saved By The Bell …. without a laugh track!

Unfortunately, Saved By The Bell was one of those shows that really needed a laugh track because, without the sound of an audience being ordered to laugh, it becomes next to impossible to ignore just how lame most of the jokes are.  Though the cast of Saved By The Bell featured a few talented actors, every single one of them still delivers their Hawaiian Style lines as if they’re waiting for the laughter that never comes.  As a result, every “laugh line” is followed by an awkward pause.

As for the show’s plot …. well, let’s put it like this.  Traditionally, I start out these posts by discussing what worked before then discussing what didn’t.  However, so little works with Saved By The Bell: Hawaiian Style that I felt like it was best to get all of the negative stuff out of the way early.  While Saved By The Bell always required a healthy suspension of disbelief, Hawaiian Style abuses the privilege.  Saved By The Bell Hawaiian Style asks us to believe the following:

  1. Kelly would be allowed to travel all the way to Hawaii without her parents.
  2. She would be allowed to take along all of her friends, who would also be traveling without parents.
  3. Screech would somehow be invited, despite the fact that no one in the group seems to like him.
  4. Somehow, their high school principal would also turn up in Hawaii at the exact same time.
  5. A single mother would dump her rich boyfriend for a high school junior.
  6. Screech would be mistaken for a Hawaiian God.

Of course, I guess some would say that we should be happy that the Gang was around to save the day but it’s hard not to notice that all of Zack’s schemes are dependent upon some terrible lie.  As well, I have to wonder if it was really worth all the trouble to save Kelly’s grandfather’s hotel.  I mean, maybe the guy just wasn’t a very good businessman.  I would probably be annoyed if I was on vacation in Hawaii with my friends and I was told that I would be spending the entire time working because some guy who was 50 years older than me couldn’t figure out how to balance the books.

This movie apparently aired on primetime television.  I wonder how viewers who didn’t know about Saved By The Bell felt when they came across it.

What Worked?

As bad as it was, it was also Saved By The Bell and, as a result, it did have some nostalgic appeal to it.  After the movie aired, Saved By The Bell: Hawaiian Style was sold into syndication as four regular episodes of Saved By The Bell and I can still remember seeing them on whatever channel Saved By The Bell was airing on at the time and thinking to myself, “What the Hell?”

The film was shot on location so, needless to say, the scenery was lovely.  Mario Lopez and Elizabeth Berkley had a few fun moments as Slater and Jessie tried to go the entire trip without fighting.  There were small pleasures to be found.  Very small.

“OMG!  Just like me!” Moments

When I was seventeen, I spent the summer in Hawaii with my mom and my sisters.  It was a lot of fun.  Though I don’t swim, I still had a lot of fun laying out on the beach.  Hawaii is one of the most incredibly beautiful places that I’ve ever seen.  I would sneak out at the hotel at night and then marvel at the scenery during the day.  It was one of my favorite summers.  Of course, I also didn’t have to spend my vacation helping a bad businessman save his resort.  That helped.

 Lessons Learned

Apparently, I’ll watch anything.

What Lisa Marie Watched Tonight: The Love Boat 2.7 “Ship of Ghouls” (dir by Roger Duchovny)


Today, after I finished up Halloween, I switched over to MeTV and I watched a Halloween episode of that very 70s series, The Love Boat!

Why Was I Watching It?

A special Halloween episode of the silliest television series ever!?  And one featuring Vincent Price as an illusionist!?  How couldn’t I watch?

What Was It About?

For the ship’s Halloween cruise, the Amazing Alozno (Vincent Price) has been hired to do his act.  He’s quite the illusionist.  Through a combination of hypnotism and magic, he transforms the ship into a magical wonderland where people turn into donkeys and the pool briefly appears to be a giant ice cream sundae.  But will Alonzo also be able to conjure up love or will he continue to ignore his devoted fiancée and instead, only worry about keeping his fans happy?

Meanwhile, a model (Barbara Anderson) who is recovering from a serious car accident has absolutely no use for illusion.  She just wants to stay in her cabin but her friend, who also happens to be the cruise director, demands that she enjoy the cruise.

What Worked?

Vincent Price as an illusionist!?  Hell yeah!  Okay, the illusions were kind of dumb and never really made sense and the show never actually explained how he could turn Gopher and Doc into donkeys but …. well, isn’t the silliness kind of the point?  The important thing is that he was Vincent Price and he appeared to be having time of his life.  Good for him!

Barbara Anderson actually gave a pretty good dramatic performance as the model.  Admittedly, it did feel a little strange to have this extremely dramatic story playing out beside scenes of Vincent Price turning people into donkeys and transforming the ship’s pool into a giant ice cream sundae but again, I guess that was kind of the appeal of the show.  It’s all weird and somehow, it works.

The boat, incidentally, looked really nice.  I’m going to take a cruise now.

What Did Not Work?

On the Love Boat, everything works!

“Oh my God!  Just like me!” Moments

I could relate to the model and before anyone rolls their eyes, allow me to explain.  When I was 19, I was in a pretty serious car accident.  The car that I was in flipped over and I basically ended up upside down in the driver’s seat, surrounded by broken glass.  Later, I was told that, when people saw the damage the car, they assumed that I had to have died.  Instead, I only got a few scrapes, bruises, and cuts.  I ended up with two permanent scars — a small one on my hand and then another one on the side of my neck.  And for years, I was so self-conscious of that scar on my neck, even though it faded quickly and I now realize it was barely noticeable.  I obsessed on it, though, both because I disliked having it and also because it reminded me of a traumatic event.  All the angst and worrying that I did about it seems kind of silly now.

Lessons Learned

Love won’t have to hurt anymore.  It’s an open smile on a friendly shore.

What Lisa Marie Watched Last Night #217: Degrassi: The Next Generation 3.16 “Take on Me” (dir by Phil Earnshaw)


Last night, I watched a classic episode from the 3rd season of Degrassi: The Next Generation, Take On Me!

Why Was I Watching It, eh?

A few days ago, when I wrote my review of R.L. Stine’s Trapped, I started thinking about how much I love Degrassi‘s take on The Breakfast Club.  That led to me getting out my Season 3 DVD and watching Take On Me!

What Was It Aboot?

This episode originally aired on February 16th, 2004.  It’s the weekend in Canada but instead of watching a hockey game and studying the dual languages of their native country, five Degrassi high school students are serving detention.  Ellie Nash (Stacey Farber) skipped school.  Hazel Aden (Andrea Lewis) used the school computers to look up porn.  Jimmy Brooks (DRAKE! — back when he was still known as Aubrey Graham) and Toby Isaacs (Jake Goldsbie) hacked into the school’s computers in an attempt to change Jimmy’s grades.  And rebel Sean Cameron (Daniel Clark) is in detention because he’s suspected of being a part of a gang of thieves who are terrorizing the entire school!

Together, the five students talk about their different cliques, play truth or dare, and sneak up to the roof.  Ellie and Sean start to fall for each other but how will Sean react when he discovers that Ellie has a secret motive for being in detention?

What Worked:

This is one of those episodes of Degrassi that you either love or you hate. You either can’t believe how blatantly the show ripped off The Breakfast Club or else you watch it and go, “Oh cool, they’re ripping off The Breakfast Club!”

Myself, I love this episode!  Not only does it center on two of my favorite characters, Ellie and Sean, but it’s also the start of the Ellie/Sean romance!  Unfortunately, the Ellie/Sean romance would only last a few episodes but they were a great couple.  Stacey Farber and Daniel Clark had a really great chemistry in their scenes together, as can be seen in this episode when they go up to the roof and they talk about thievery and self-harm.  The scene where Ellie shows Sean the scars on her arm is one of the best in the history of Degrassi.

This episode also features one of my favorite Degrassi exchanges.  When Ellie says she’s in detention for skipping school, Jimmy deadpans, “Wow, that’s a great story, Ellie.”  It’s just the way the line is delivered.

What Did Not Work:

There’s this really weird subplot involving the principal, Mr. Radish (Dan Woods).  Radish is at the school to supervise detention.  He brags about how it’s all a part of his new “no tolerance” policy for misbehavior.  However, Archie “Snake” Simpson (Stefan Brogren), the media arts teacher, stops by the school and tells Mr. Radish that there’s more to life than just following rules.  Sometimes, tolerance is a good thing.

At the end of the episode, a chastised Mr. Radish tells the detention kids that he’s just trying to do the right thing.  He suddenly decides to show some tolerance and he lets everyone go home early.  The thing is, though — Sean was stealing things from the school.  And Jimmy did bully Toby into trying to change his grades and Toby did hack into the school’s computer.  Hazel and Ellie were both in detention for minor reasons but the three guys actually did some serious things wrong.  Their behavior was exactly the sort of thing that would get most students in a lot more trouble than just weekend detention.  If anything, Mr. Radish was being nice by just having them give up a few weekends as opposed to calling the cops.

Finally, the end of the episode reveals that Ellie was actually working undercover for the local news station, for a story they were planning on doing about the thefts at the school.  But why would a big city news station care about such a minor crime and whose bright idea was it to get the story by putting an emotionally vulnerable teenage girl in potential danger by sending her in with a tape recorder?  And couldn’t they have at least given Ellie a less bulky tape recorder?  It’s almost like they wanted her to get caught.

“Oh my God!  Just Like Me!” Moments

Honestly, every single minute of every single episode of Degrassi is pretty much an “Oh my God!  Just like me!” moment, as far as I’m concerned.  That said, I always related the most to Ellie.  We both have red hair.  We both spent a good deal of high school dressed in black.  We both went through a cutting phase and a rubber band on the wrist phase and I’ve always appreciated the sensitive way that Degrassi handled that subject matter.  (Whatever flaws it may have had, Degrassi was way ahead of its time when it came to dealing with anxiety.)

I especially related to Ellie in this episode, both because I always ended up crushing on the sensitive rebels like Sean Cameron and I also got assigned detention a few times.  Of course, I always skipped detention because I was really into the whole “No one’s going to tell me what to do” thing.  Strangely, I never got in any trouble for not showing up to detention and I always wondered if everyone regularly skipped or if it was just me.

Lessons Learned

There’s nothing more fun and emotionally rewarding than weekend detention!

What Lisa Watched Last Night #216: The Danger Next Door (dir by Bill Corcoran)


Last night, I watched the latest Lifetime film, The Danger Next Door!

Why Was I Watching It?

Because it was on Lifetime, of course!  It’s been a while since I’ve gotten a chance to watch a Lifetime film on the night that it aired.  Seriously, my DVR is full of Lifetime films right now and waiting for me to dig into them come November.

What Was It About?

After getting mugged, pregnant Robin (Hannah Emily Anderson) and her husband, Ben (Jake Epstein) move to a small town.  At first, the town seems perfect but it’s hard not to notice that their next door neighbors, Guy (David Ferry) and Sharon (Kyra Harper), are a little bit too friendly.  Anyone who has watched a Lifetime film knows that no one that nice can be trusted and that’s certainly the case here.

What Worked?

I always love a good “small towns are evil” Lifetime film so, in that regard, The Danger Next Door delivered exactly what I wanted.  The town was pretty, the houses were big, and the melodrama was embraced.  Yay!

The film also featured Jake Epstein, playing a sympathetic character for once!  Epstein previously played Craig Manning on Degrassi.  I’ve seen him in a lot of other movies and shows since then but he’ll always be Craig to me!  Craig was one of the best characters on Degrassi, a bipolar musician with drug problems and a habit of breaking everyone’s heart.  I always hoped that Craig and Ellie would get together, though I do think Ashley was Craig’s soul mate.  Anyway, where was I?  Oh yeah, Jake Epstein was in this movie and it was good to see him!

What Did Not Work?

Towards the end of the movie, there were a few plot twists that demanded a lot of suspension of disbelief, even for a Lifetime film.

“Oh my God!  Just like me!” Moments

I have never been mugged but, when I was 16 years old, the house that I was living in was burglarized.  My mom, my sisters, and I woke up one morning to discover that the garage door was open, the microwave was missing, and someone had emptied out my mom’s purse.  Even more than that, though, they stole our feeling of being secure in our home.  I had nightmares for weeks afterwards and I even took to sleeping with a baseball bat next to my bed.  However, the bat was a bit heavy so, after a few days, I switched it out for a golf club.

One night, I thought I heard someone creeping outside my bedroom door at 3 in the morning.  I got up, grabbed my golf club, and creeped over to the door.  I took a deep breath, raised the club over my head, threw the door open, and swung at the first dark shadow that I saw.

“What the Hell, Lisa Marie!?” Erin exclaimed, as she (rather easily) avoided the club.

Looking back at it, I’m glad that I didn’t hit my sister in the face with a golf club.  I would have felt bad about that.  But there’s no worse feeling than having some stranger invade your personal safe place.  All these years later, I’m still a fanatic when it comes to locking all the doors, checking all the windows, and making sure I’ve got a golf club near the bed.

The movie did a good job of capturing that trauma.  I could definitely relate to Robin’s fears.

Lessons Learned

Never move to a small town.  No matter how bad and scary the city gets, it’s still safer than living in a small town.

What Lisa Marie Watched Last Night #215: Nobody Will Believe You (dir by Damian Romay)


Last night, I turned over to the Lifetime Movie Network and I watched Nobody Will Believe You (a.k.a. Pretty Little Victim).

Why Was I Watching It?

This was actually my second time to watch Nobody Will Believe You.  I also watched it back in July but, for whatever reason, I didn’t review it despite the fact that I enjoyed the film.  I guess I must have been busy or sick in July, who knows?  Anyway, when I saw that it was going to be airing on the Lifetime Movie Network on Thursday night, I decided to rewatch it so that I could finally get around to writing this review!

What Was It About?

Melanie (Jenna Rosenow) and her daughter, Hannah (Emily Topper), have moved to a new town and, for Hannah, that means starting at a new school!  From the very first day, it’s obvious that Hannah is going to struggle to fit in.  Hannah may be nice but her classmates definitely are not.  The cheerleaders are bitchy.  The jocks are toxic.  Her best friend is alienated.  There’s a mysterious man who occasionally shows up and menacingly waves around a taser.  The only good news is that the friendly guidance counselor (John William Wright) wants to hire her to teach his daughter how to play the piano!  What could possibly go wrong?

What Worked?

I enjoyed Nobody Will Believe You because it did what every good Lifetime film does.  It shamelessly and openly embraced the melodrama.  Seriously, every possible thing that could happen to Hannah did happen to Hannah.  No sooner was Hannah getting rejected by the cheerleaders then she was saving the most popular girl in school from a falling printer.  No sooner had Hannah’s phone been hacked than someone was trying to frame her for murder.  It was such a nonstop collection of incidents that it quickly became clear to me that the film was self-aware when it came to its status as a Lifetime film.  It understood why the audience was watching and it was determined to give us exactly what we wanted.  At its best, the film worked as both a tribute to and a parody of the typical Lifetime movie.

What Did Not Work?

Obviously, for the film’s plot to work, Hannah had to be extremely naïve and trusting.  And, let’s be honest, it is true that some people are easily tricked.  Not everyone has the streetwise instincts of a suburbanite who has watched several hundred Lifetime films.  However, even with that in mind, it was sometimes hard to accept that Hannah could be as totally naïve as she often was.  Watching the movie, you sometimes got the feeling that, even if Hannah survived, she was destined to grow up to be one of those people who ends up sending their life savings to Aruba because someone contacted them on Facebook, claiming to be Garrett Hedlund.

“Oh my God!” Just Like Me Moments

When I was growing up, my family used to move a lot so I definitely could relate to Hannah’s nervousness about having to start all over again at an entirely new school.  And, when I was in high school, I got along famously with our guidance counselor.  If I hadn’t broken my ankle, maybe he would have asked me to teach his daughter to dance.  Of course, if Lifetime films have taught me anything, it’s that being hired to teach anyone anything is automatically going to lead to tragedy.

And of course, that brings us to….

Lessons Learned

Don’t teach.  Don’t offer to help anyone.  Reject any and all offers of mentorship.  It’s just going to lead to trouble.

What Lisa Watched Tonight #215: Baywatch The Movie: Forbidden Paradise (dir by Douglas Schwartz)


Earlier tonight, I watched the 1995 film Baywatch The Movie: Forbidden Paradise.

Why Was I Watching It?

The H&I network has been airing Baywatch every weekday at 5 and 6. I’ve been watching because the pure, unapologetic silliness of the show is a good way to unwind from whatever stress or annoyance I may have had to deal with during the day. Today, they aired Forbidden Paradise, which was originally released theatrically in Europe and straight-to-video in the United States. (To quote John Redcorn, “We are already straight-to-video. There is nowhere else left to go.”) A few months after its theatrical release, Forbidden Paradise was broadcast as a two-part episode of Baywatch, even though it featured characters who had since left the show. I imagine that was a bit confusing for some viewers.

(Or maybe it wasn’t. I doubt the majority Baywatch’s audience was particularly concerned with continuity.)

What Was It About?

The Baywatch team goes to Hawaii! Well, not all of them. Actually, it’s just Mitch (David Hasselhoff), CJ (Pamela Anderson), Stephanie (Alexandra Paul), Caroline (Yasmine Bleeth), Logan (Jaason Simmons), and Matt (David Charvet). They’re supposed to be taking part in a lifeguard exchange program but, as usual, it turns out that Stephanie is the only one who actually gives a damn about doing her job.

Instead, CJ considered whether or not she wants to model for a dorky photographer. Logan becomes obsessed with winning a surfing competition while Caroline obsesses on why Logan is always obsessing on stuff. Mitch and Matt end up getting lost in the jungle and briefly taken prisoner by a bunch of native villagers. It all leads to a chase through the jungle and an engagement on the beach. Stephanie helps that Hawaiian lifeguards save someone from drowning. At least Stephanie takes her job seriously.

What Worked?

Baywatch The Movie: Forbidden Paradise was actually filmed on location in Hawaii so the scenery was gorgeous. It was also apparently shot in approximately the same location as Lost so, whenever I got bored with the plot, I could think about Sawyer and the Others. This was especially true while David Hasselhoff and David Charvet were being chased through the jungle by all of the angry villagers. I felt like the Smoke Monster was going to pop out at any moment.

As with anything involving Baywatch, it could be argued that the whole film was so ludicrous that it worked as a self-parody. I’m certainly tempted to make that argument but I’m not really sure if any of the self-parody was intentional. That’s the great mystery when it comes to Baywatch.

What Did Not Work?

If you consider this movie to be a self-aware parody, than it all worked.

If you consider it to be an actual movie, with a plot and characters that you’re supposed to care about and interesting dialogue, than none of it worked. I mean, it’s Baywatch. It’s the adult version of Saved By The Bell. It’s entertainingly shallow but it’s never exactly good.

Probably the film’s biggest flaw is that the pacing is totally off. It seems to take forever for the film’s plot to actually get started and then, once it does, it keeps going off on these strange detours. For some reason, a lot of screen time is devoted to a model named Holly (Hedi Mark) and a remarkably unlucky photographer named Carlton Edwards (Ricky Dean Logan).

Myself, I was disappointed that David Chokachi (who played Cody, the lifeguard best-known for wearing a speedo in the opening credits) wasn’t even in the film.

“Oh my God! Just like me!” Moments

I’ve been to Hawaii! Seriously, I had a great time and I look forward to returning soon.

Lessons Learned

I refuse to learn anything from Baywatch.

What Lisa Watched Last Night #214: The Wrong Real Estate Agent (dir by David DeCoteau)


Last night, I watched the first Lifetime premiere of 2021, The Wrong Real Estate Agent!

Why Was I Watching It?

It was the first Lifetime film of 2021 so how couldn’t I watch it?

Add to that, I love the “Wrong” series.  The “Wrong” films are all directed by David DeCoteau and they all feature Vivica A. Fox in a supporting (or, in this case, a lead) role.  These films are always a lot of fun and, since they’re all filmed in Canada, there’s always chance you might spot someone from Degrassi in the cast.

(Admittedly, The Wrong Real Estate Agent is the rare “Wrong” film to feature no one from Degrassi.  But it’s the first Lifetime film of 2021 so we won’t hold that against it.)

What Was It About?

Julie (Vivica A. Fox) and her daughter Maddie (Alaya Lee Walton) have just moved into a wonderful, beautiful house but, unfortunately, they’re renting from the wrong real estate agent!  Charles (Andres Londono) used to date Julie and it’s obvious that he wants to win her back.  However, Charles’s idea of how to win someone back involves a lot of lies and a lot of murder.

Soon after moving into their new home, Julie and Maddie begin hearing strange sounds and seeing weird movement in the shadows.  Most disturbingly to me, someone has been using the shower when Julie’s not home.  Seriously, you don’t use someone else’s shower without asking first!

And let’s not even get started on the mysterious room that’s always locked off….

What Worked?

Vivica A. Fox has appeared in all of the “Wrong” films but usually, she’s cast in a supporting role.  She usually plays some sort of no nonsense authority figure who shows up at the end of the film to announce, “He messed with the wrong cheerleader” or “He was the wrong wholesale jewelry importer” or something like that.  In The Wrong Real Estate Agent, she played the lead role and it was a nice change of pace.  I thought she did a good job in the lead role, even if Julie sometimes seemed to be impossibly naïve.

Alaya Lee Walton also did a good job as Julie’s daughter, Maddie.  She and Fox were very believable as mother and daughter and their relationship rang true.

Finally, I loved the house!  That may sound like a small compliment but seriously, a good Lifetime film always features a great house.  So far, the “Wrong” series has been very good about using the right house.  If I ever do move to Canada, it’s going to be because of both Degrassi and the numerous Canadian produced Lifetime films that have left me convinced that every house in Toronto is a mansion.

What Did Not Work?

Charles was just a little bit too obviously crazy.  In general, it’s a good idea to suspend your disbelief when it comes to a Lifetime film and to just kind of go with whatever happens but, in this case, Charles really was so obviously unstable that you kind of wondered how anyone played by Vivica A. Fox could be naïve enough to trust him.

“Oh my God!  Just like me!” Moments

I related to Maddie, particularly when she argued with her mom about whether or not she should shut the window in her bedroom.  Her mom thought the open window was an invitation to sickness and danger.  Maddie knew that she had to keep the window so her boyfriend could sneak in and out of the house.  Of course, Maddie couldn’t explain that was the reason why the window needed to be open but, to her credit, Maddie stayed her calm and talked her mom into letting her keep the window open until it was time for bed.  Good job, Maddie!  I wish I had been that good at winning arguments when I was that age.

Lessons Learned

When it comes to renting or buying a house, make sure you’ve got the right real estate agent.  Because the wrong real estate agent will not only try to get you to go out of your price range (that’s something I learned from watching House Hunters) but he’ll eventually try to kill you as well.

The other thing I learned is that every profession has at least one wrong person.  Someday, I’m hoping to see a film called The Wrong Administrative Assistant or maybe The Wrong Stunt Double.  Seriously, this series can go on until the end of time.

What Lisa Watched Last Night #213: Is There A Killer On My Street? (dir by Jake Helgren)


Last night, I watched the latest “premiere” on the Lifetime Movie Network, Is There A Killer On My Street?

Why Was I Watching It?

I have to admit that Lifetime fooled me.  I thought this was a brand new movie, largely because it was listed as having been released in 2020.  When I saw that, I was like, “Well, there’s no way I’m going to miss a new Lifetime movie!  Especially one that isn’t a sentimental Christmas film!”

Well, it turns out that Is There A Killer On My Street has been around for at least two years.  It was originally released under the title The Neighborhood Nightmare, way back in 2018.  When Lifetime aired the movie, they changed the title and apparently, that was enough for this movie to reclassified as a 2020 release.

That said, I’m not angry at Lifetime.  The COVID-19 outbreak shut down a lot of productions and I can only imagine how many Lifetime movies were put on indefinite hold earlier this year.  So, Lifetime picked up an old movie and changed the title.  Big deal.  It was still new to the network, right?

Don’t worry, Lifetime.  I’ve got your back.

What Was It About?

It’s time for another round of sex and sin in the suburbs!  Having escaped from an abusive marriage, Lindsay Porter (Julie McNiven) and her teenage daughter have settled down in a beautiful house in a beautiful neighborhood.  (Seriously, there’s never been an ugly house in a Lifetime movie.)  Lindsay even starts to date her new neighbor, Dr. Stephen Lane (Trevor Donovan).  However, when strange things start to happen and eventually someone shows up dead, Lindsay is forced to consider how much she knows about not just Stephen but her neighbors as well!

What Worked?

I always love a good Lifetime sin-in-the-suburbs film and Is There A Killer In My Street had all the right ingredients.  Melodrama, murder, yoga, swimming pools, a good-looking cast, and a director who was willing to let everyone go just a little overboard.  This was an entertainingly sordid movie and that’s exactly what I was looking for on Friday night.

I will say that the film also did a surprisingly good job of keeping you guessing.  I thought I had figured out who the murderer would be just to then discover that I was totally wrong.  I’m usually really good at predicting who the murderer is going to be in a Lifetime whodunit so I have to give this film a lot of credit for keeping me on my toes.  I’ve seen a lot of these films and it’s always nice to discover that I can still be surprised.

What Did Not Work?

I could nitpick but screw that.  This movie was too much fun for nitpicking.  I mean, let’s be honest.  We’re all pretty much going to be stuck in our current bizarre situation for the forseesable future.  Films like Is There A Killer On My Street are going to be essential for keeping us entertained.

“Oh my God!  Just like me!” Moments

I appreciated that Lindsay and I both have red hair.  I share her struggle.

Lessons Learned

If you even have to ask whether or not there’s a killer on your street, you’re already in trouble.

What Lisa Watched Last Night #212: Her Deadly Groom (dir by Jared Cohn)


Last night, I turned over to Lifetime and I watched Her Deadly Groom!

Why Was I Watching It?

How couldn’t I watch it?  It was on Lifetime.

Last night, I realized that it had bee forever since I last watched and live tweeted a Lifetime film.  Some of that was due to some changes in my schedule.  On Saturday night, I now co-host the Scary Social live tweet, which means that I usually have to DVR and watch Saturday’s Lifetime movie at a later date.  And, admittedly, some of my absence from the Lifetime front just had to do with just pure exhaustion at the state of the world.  When you spend 7 days straight hearing about how the world is going to end, you often just want to spend Sunday meditating or sleeping or, at the very least, dancing.

But, regardless of what else may be happening, I love Lifetime movies and I always have.  Last night, I was determined to watch Her Deadly Groom and I’m glad that I did.

What Was It About?

Allison (Kate Watson) is divorced from George (Eric Roberts), an alcoholic and a serial philanderer.  She now lives with her daughter Nicky (Elyse Cantor) and Nicky’s boyfriend, Jake (Jacob Michael) and she has a nice specialty peanut butter business going with her friend Brenna (Kelly Erin Decker).  One thing that Allison says she doesn’t need in her life right now is another man.  Brenna, however, disagrees and creates an account for Allison on a dating site.

Soon, Allison has met Vincent Black (Michael DeVorzon), who is handsome, charming, and psychotic.  Fear not, that’s not a spoiler.  You know that Vincent is dangerous from the minute you first see him because 1) he pushes his previous girlfriend off a cliff and 2) this is a Lifetime movie.  Anyway, Vincent is soon dating Allison and it looks like they’ll soon be married.  What Allison doesn’t know is that Vincent has taken out a huge life insurance policy on her….

What Worked?

Eric Roberts was in this film!  Admittedly, he had a small role but still, he’s Eric Roberts and he’s always a lot of fun to watch.  Plus, in this film, there was a neat little twist involving his character and Roberts did a great job playing it.

One thing I liked about this film is that Vincent may have been charming and lucky but he wasn’t always the most clever con artist around.  He wasn’t one of those super villains who you occasionally come across in a film like this.  Instead, he was just a con man who knew how to manipulate people but who also understood that he would only be able to successfully fool people for a limited amount of time.  As a result, he didn’t waste any time when it came to putting his plans into action and that created some suspense.  We knew he wasn’t going to wait forever to make his move.  Vincent was a wonderfully hissable villain.

The mother-daughter relationship between Nicky and Allison felt real and both Kate Watson and Elyse Cantor did a good job of bringing their characters to life.  I appreciated the fact that, even though Allison may have been naive when it came to Vincent, she wasn’t stupid.  She was just someone who got legitimately conned by a sociopath.

Finally, this was a Lifetime film so all of the house were to die for.  Seriously, never underestimate the importance of a big house in a Lifetime film.

What Did Not Work?

It all worked.  This was a fun Lifetime movie.

“Oh my God! Just Like Me” Moments

I related to Brenna, mostly because we’ve both fallen down a flight of stairs.  Of course, nobody had to push me.  I’m just a klutz when it comes to stairs.

Lessons Learned

If something seems too good to be true, it probably is.  Oh!  And always check to see if your man has taken out a life insurance policy on you.

What Lisa Watched Last Night #211: Remember Me, Mommy? (dir by Michelle Ouellet)


Last night, I watched the premiere of one of the greatest Lifetime films of all time, Remember Me, Mommy?

Why Was I Watching It?

It was on Lifetime.  I’ve been ordered to shelter in place.  What else could I do?

Then again, even if I wasn’t on lockdown, I probably still would have watched it because this is one of those Lifetime films that takes place at a private school and features a teacher with a secret in her past and those are typically my favorite Lifetime films.  There’s just something irresistible about the mix of super snobs and dark secrets!

What Was It About?

Elena Walker (Sydney Meyer) is the newest student at Clark Academy!  She’s a scholarship student, which means that she has to deal with a lot of hazing from all of the rich kids.  It turns out that most of the students at Clark Academy have known each other for their entire lives so Elena is definitely an outsider.

However, fear not!  Elena loves to write and the school’s creative writing teacher, Rebecca (Natalie Brown), is a former scholarship student herself.  In fact, Rebecca is so impressed with Elena’s essays that she even arranges for Elena to meet with an Ivy League recruiter.  So …. yay for the scholarship students, I guess.

Except …. well, Elena may not be who she claims.  In fact, it turns out that Elena has a bad habit of killing people who get on her nerves.  It also turns out that it’s not just a coincidence that Elena showed up at Clark Academy and immediately went out of her way to bond with Rebecca.

What is Elena’s plan?  What is Rebecca’s secret?  I’m not going to spoil anything, especially since the title of the film already does that.

What Worked?

It all worked!

Seriously, this is one of the best Lifetime films that I’ve seen in a while.  Though you’ll probably guess Rebecca’s secret long before the film actually reveals it, Remember Me, Mommy? is still a lot of fun.  In the tradition of the best Lifetime films, Remember Me, Mommy? fully embraces the melodrama.  Elena never stops plotting, Rebecca never stops teaching, and the pace never slackens.

And I have to admit that, as evil as Elena was, it was hard not to like her.  She was an agent of chaos, dropped in the middle of a bunch of complacent snobs and she reacted by disrupting the status quo.  Of course, it would have been nice if she could have resisted the temptation to kill but still….

What Did Not Work?

It all worked!

“Oh my God!  Just like me!” Moments

Like Elena, I always got along with my creative writing teachers.  They were some of my favorite people.

At one point in the film, Elena is accused of plagiarism and I have to admit that brought back some memories of high school math class.  I’ve always sucked at math.  It’s just not my thing.  Fortunately, I had an older sister who had taken the class a year before me and who had saved all of her tests so, whenever I had to take a test, I would just copy all the answers and …. well, technically, I guess I was cheating.  My plan, if I was ever caught, was to argue that I wasn’t so much cheating as I was just plagiarizing my sister’s answers.  Fortunately, I never got caught so I didn’t actually have to find out whether or not that argument would have worked.

Lessons Learned

Be nice to scholarship students!